Kyrgyz Republic is a country, greater part of which is surrounded by mountains, the population is 5.3 million people, and the area is 200,000 sq. km. It is located in the eastern part of Central Asia and shares borders with Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mountains cover 94% of the territory of Kyrgyzstan.
Power industry is the basic sector in the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic. Profitable and reliable operation of power sector contributes to wellbeing of people and successful economic development of the country.
The main source of power in the republic is water resources; their power potential is 142 billion kWh of possible power generation per year, thereof only 10% are used.
Kyrgyz Republic is the third among the CIS countries after Russia and Tajikistan in its water-power potential. Development of water-power potential in Kyrgyzstan is the main objective of the program on power sector development in the republic.
Kyrgyzstan possesses significant power resources and is able to satisfy its own need to a large extent. However, currently, potential of the fuel and power sector (hereinafter referred to as FPS) is not adequately realized, the efficiency of many energy companies decreased, this sector is suffering significant financial and economic difficulties. The republic is dependent on imported coal, natural gas, and petroleum products. The share of import constitutes more than 50% in the structure of fuel and power balance of the republic.
Expected reserves of 70 major coal deposits are estimated at the level of more than 2.2 billion tons. According to the forecasts, the reserves of undiscovered resources of oil and gas constitute approximately 289 tons of reference fuel. 15 oil and gas deposits are developed in the south of the country, where the volume of produced commercial oil reserves makes 11.6 million tons and natural gas makes 4.9 billion cubic meters.
Development of water-power potential in Kyrgyzstan is the main objective of the program on power sector development in the republic. 20 power plants with total capacity of 3,786 MW are operating in the energy sector, while the capacity of hydropower plants is 3,070 MW and two heat and power plants with capacity of 716 MW.
Annual average power generation constitutes 12-15 billion kWh. The basic share of power generation at hydropower plants is accounted for a cascade of Toktogulskiy hydropower plant with the Toktogulskiy water storage reservoir, the hugest over-year water storage basin, water volume – 19.5 billion cubic meters, which provides Kyrgyzstan and the neighboring countries of Central Asia with power and water for irrigation of the most important agricultural crops.
Approximately 5% of GDP, 16% of the industrial output and 10% of the state budget revenue are accounted for the power industry. Power network provides access to electric energy for almost all population. Water-power potential of 252 large and medium rivers is estimated as follows: capacity - 18.5 million kW, electric energy – more than 160 billion kWh. Water-power potential of small rivers and water streams is approximately 5-8 billion kWh per year, thereof only 3% are used.
Electric power system of Kyrgyzstan is an independent organization, which operates in parallel with the total power system of Central Asia and includes:
18 power plants with total installed capacity of 3,666 MW, of which the installed capacity of hydraulic power plants is 2,950 MW and the installed capacity of two heat and power plants is 716 MW. The available capacity of energy system is 3,135 MW for the current period, taking into account exhaustion of generating capacities. The average annual power generation is approximately 12 billion kWh;
513 electric substations with voltage of 35-500 kW;
64,993 kilometers of transmission lines with voltage of 0.4-500 kW.
The major hydropower plants of the republic, located on Naryn river, which flows in the valley of the south-west part of the country, form a group of stations on 5 dams (with total capacity of 2,870 MW).
More than 70 thousand kilometers of transmission lines with voltage of 0.4-500 kW are put into operation in the electric power system of Kyrgyzstan, whereof 546 kilometers are lines with voltage of 500 kW, 1,714 kilometers – lines with voltage of 220 kW and 4,380 kilometers – lines with voltage of 110 kW, as well as approximately 490 of transforming sub-stations with voltage of 35-500 kW, the total capacity is more than 8,000 MVA. However, these facilities are outdated part thereof shall be replaced or upgraded.
The Kyrgyz Republic is among the countries possessing huge potential of renewable energy. First of all, it is the solar, water streams, wind and biogas energy. Potentially, renewable energy sources (RES) can satisfy 50% of the county’s demand for fuel and power resources.
Use of RES shall be considered as the most promising in the remote mountainous and rural districts, which have no centralized power supply: farms and cattle breeding complexes, mining enterprises, road services, tourism and ecological facilities, pumping stations, the facilities of the forest and hunting farms, etc.; dwelling houses, social amenities, the facilities of culture and sport, sales outlets, health-related institutions, etc.
Currently, practical use of RES is not significant and constitutes less than 1% in the power balance of the country. The aforementioned situation is connected with different facts and the major one is weak mechanism of economic stimulation in use of RES. The Ministry of Energy and Industry is planning to increase the share of renewable energy sources up to 4% by 2025.
It is necessary to use RES due to peculiarities of the natural landscape. More than 90 % of the territory is covered by mountains. More than 60% of the population lives in rural districts of piedmont and mountain areas, where traditional fuel supply is very complicated. Under such conditions, application of local autonomous RES systems, which do not require connection to the existing power system, is very profitable. Application of wind power plants and micro-HPPs for power supply to such consumers will be less cost-intensive. RES is the only one available opportunity to resolve energetic, social and economic problems of the population. Thus, application of solar heating systems will contribute to funds saving for purchase of traditional fuel and improving living conditions by means of hot water supply necessary for household needs. Application of biogas plants will allow the inhabitants of villages to produce inflammable gas and high efficient fertilizers improving yielding capacity of crops and population quality of life. Moreover, application of wind energy or micro-HPPs contributes to creation of new jobs.
However, despite huge potential of renewable energy sources in the republic, creation and introduction of RES is still less cost-effective and more capital intensive as compared to traditional methods. Till present, there was no practical requirement for RES application, primarily, due to significantly low value of power generated by traditional methods as compared to the value of power generated by means of RES application. Currently, the situation is changing significantly and increased need in such energy application can be expected.
1. Assessment of proposed decisions for autonomous and network access to power services in rural and remote districts of Kyrgyzstan
Power sector in the republic is among the most significant spheres of economy and plays an important role in development of the country as the main supplier of power for enterprises and population.
However, nowadays this sector suffers difficulties and is not able to satisfy demand of consumers for power completely.
“The Medium-Term Development Program of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012-2014” , adopted in 2012, reflects perspectives and medium-term priorities of development of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012-2014. Sector 5.6.1 “Power sector” provides the following information:
Power sector of the Kyrgyz Republic suffered numerous difficulties over the years. The level of commercial and technical losses is unacceptably high. Financial situation of energy providers is unfavorable. This is resulted from high and sometimes unreasonable business costs.
Obsolence and physical deterioration of equipment has reached the level, which cause high risks for sustainable operation of the sector. Number of accidents and failure of power-generating equipment exceeds all standard and norms, particularly during the period of peak seasonal overload.
The Medium-Term Power Sector Development Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012-2017 , adopted in 2012 as well, specifies the main objectives for improvement of energy providers’ efficiency and formation of conditions for their sustainable development.
The main objective of this Strategy is “provision of power supply security in the Kyrgyz Republic, sustainable economic growth and development of power sector in the republic through strengthening power supply and economic security, achievement of financial and economic rehabilitation, as well as competitive advantage of the Kyrgyz Republic in the power export markets by increasing generating and processing capacities through re-equipment”.
Annual power generation in Kyrgyzstan is within the range from 12 billion kWh to 15 billion kWh, Fig. 1 (depending on water content of Naryn river). Currently, available capacity of power plants in Kyrgyzstan is 3,587 MW. The list of main power generating sources is given in Table 1.
Figure 1 – Power generated by power plants in 2008-2013
The peculiarity of power sector of Kyrgyzstan is as follows: 90% of generating capacities is accounted for hydropower plants located in the south of the republic; however 70% of power is consumed in the north. Such structure of generating capacities creates such circumstances, when power generation by a cascade of Toktogulskiy hydropower plants becomes directly dependent of the water volume in Toktogulskiy water storage reservoir.
Over the last years, significant growth in power and capacity consumption was observed in the north and south of Kyrgyzstan.
In January 2014, maximum power consumption in the republic reached 3,139 MW, as well as 2,045 MW in the north of the republic, 1,094 MW in the south of the republic, i.e. generating capacity reserve has almost been exhausted.
Dynamics of power consumption growth is given in Figure 2.